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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Professional clothing donation drive expands hope for jobseekers

It just might be time to get rid of that size 4 suit you haven’t touched in years or that dress you decided didn’t flatter you. If you have some unused professional clothing sitting in your closet, the Spokane Valley Partners Clothing Bank wants it.

It’s time once again for the annual Best Foot Forward career clothing drive. The drive, which begins Friday, collects professional clothes for men and women, including shoes and accessories such as socks, belts and purses.

The drive was started by Sharon Jayne after she retired as principal of Greenacres Junior High in 1999. The clothing bank gives away clothes to people who need it, but Jayne noticed a shortage of professional clothes for people to wear to job interviews or work.

“They get a lot of donations for just regular clothes,” Jayne said. “Professional ones, that’s a different situation.”

If anything, the demand is more acute now. “I just feel there’s a need, especially with the jobless situation,” she said.

Jayne said she also volunteers at the Valley Partners Food Bank and is familiar with many of its clients. “A lot of them just don’t have the wardrobe for that,” she said.

The annual drive has been fairly successful, netting thousands of pounds of donations. “Typically we’ll get about a ton in,” she said. “They weigh it in.”

To be credited to the annual effort, donors need to specify that contributions are for the Best Foot Forward campaign. The clothing bank accepts donations of professional clothing year round, but the drive is held every year to raise awareness about the issue.

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